Healthcare

I support Medicare for all who want it.

Americans are suffering from a healthcare crisis. While politicians in Washington debate, Americans face serious uncertainty regarding their coverage and their employer-provided plans. In every other developed country, healthcare is treated as a basic right and is provided at significantly lower cost. Today, the United States is the wealthiest country that has ever existed.  Our healthcare system must reflect this reality and treat healthcare as a human right, not a privilege.

As it exists today, healthcare policy in the United States creates a two-tiered system that favors the richest at the expense of millions of Americans.  To provide millions of Americans with the healthcare they both need and deserve, I support the Medicare for America Act as proposed by Reps. Rosa DeLauro and Jan Schakowsky.  Medicare for America would provide coverage for every uninsured American and lower costs for those already insured by doing the following:

 

1. Allow Americans who like their insurance plans to keep them.

Under the Medicare For America plan, those enrolled in employer-sponsored insurance programs would have the option to remain enrolled in their current plan.  However, prior authorization and step therapy will be banned, meaning your insurance provider will no longer be able to require you to “try” cheaper or generic medications before covering the best possible treatment. This plan will allow the government to negotiate prescription drug prices, so that Big Pharma will no longer be able to charge unlimited amounts on necessary medications and pharmaceutical products. Should providers refuse to negotiate with the Department of Health and Human Services, prices would be established according to the Department of Veterans Affairs prices or by basing prices on average global market rates. Additionally, Medicare for America finally puts an end to Fee For Service private arrangements, which will help in lowering overall private insurance costs.

2. Provide a low-cost, public option for every uninsured American as well as those who would like to switch.

Medicare for America provides a low-cost, public option for insurance coverage, in which enrollees would “pay in” no more than 8% of their monthly income.  Those with incomes twice the federal poverty line or below would pay no premiums at all.

3. Allow for expanded coverage through Medicare Advantage.

Medicare For America also provides greater choice in the form of Medicare Advantage.  Individuals and families can enroll in Medicare Advantage plans and pay separate premiums for additional coverage, on top of the public and private insurance options.  Increased coverage under Medicare For America would include long term services, as well as disability and senior citizen coverage, a great improvement on the current state of Medicare and private insurance providers.

So how do we pay for it?

Voters have a right to know how healthcare plans will be paid for.  Reps. DeLauro and Schakowsky propose getting rid of the 2017 Republican tax bill and implementing a 5% surtax on adjusted gross incomes of over $500K.[1] If you make less than $500,000 a year, your taxes won’t go up.  Medicare for America also makes sure that states would pay no more into Medicaid and CHIP programs than they already do under what are known as maintenance of effort payments. The rate of inflation on these payments for states will grow over time, however.[2]

I support Medicare for all who want it because I believe in providing choice.

Too many politicians in Washington don’t believe that healthcare is a right, or don’t trust Americans to choose what is right for them.  I believe that Medicare for America is the best way to ensure choice while providing coverage for every American. The reason I support Medicare for America is because I trust my fellow Americans to make the right decision for themselves and their families.

 

 

 

[1] This accounts for additional incomes outside of primary source of income like capital gains.

[2] States that accepted the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act would receive a discount on inflation rates for maintenance of effort payments for the first 10 years, after which all states would pay the same amount.

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